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I’ve been thinking about the imperium’s image for most fans, and I’m noticing just exaggerated everything about that faction’s lore is.

Hive worlds
Like think about these planets for a second. These supposedly ‘kardashev type 1’ societies that function as ecumenopolies, but when taking into account the number of planets the estimated 3.5 quadrillion humans in the 40k universe occupy, the number of moons available, the fact that human settlements exist on a hierarchy rather than being centralized urban centres, and the fact that not every human necessarily is on or lives on a planet or moon and you end up with hive cities that are either moderately dense or just straight up empty for most of the time they’re functioning (even on planets not considered deathworlds). Like fuck, the way the writers describe hive cities is similar to the way advertisers describe cities like Tokyo and New York; they are big cities, but they aren’t gargantuan—especially as they plateau in density relative to one’s displacement from their centres.

Then there’s the conflicts. Even the writers can’t be bothered to pretend as if the Milky Way is always in a state of galaxy-ending conflicts. The vast majority of the imperiums battles aren’t fought by space marines or the guardsman but by the PDF forces and the navy. It’s not like the latter two forces do nothing, but they’re only active like once every few decades to centuries—or even millennia. Even with major conflicts like the crusades or the heresy, the galaxy as a whole will never see a conflict like the cybernetic revolt ever again… and that’s in the worst possible scenario; there’s plenty of worse conflicts in sci fi.

Additionally the ‘untold billions’ is shockingly low given how long humanity has been around for (the same applies for the other factions). No really, if the human population were to grow by even 0.1% each earth year, by m.42 there would be 8.16*10^26 people. A number that’s a far cry from the 3.5 quadrillion to 330+ quadrillion estimates for the 40k population by the fan base.

There’s really not much more I can add to this. For as hard as the authors try to make the galaxy seem, there really isn’t that much wrong with the world building of rouge trader. Anyone getting into the series today that actually takes anything going on seriously misses the point of this goofy fucking tabletop game.


This is something I've been thinking about because I've been considering a what if between my setting and Warhammer 40k. Basically a full on super imperial fleet accidentally warps into the solar system at 3300, which is a little bit after my second book ends. Humanity lives in communism and is connected in a sort of hive mind, there is a Dyson swarm and even the Oort cloud is highly populated because thats where the communists lived when they were on the back foot. It has been like 100 years since the revolution was fully completed in the solar system. However, in nearby systems there is still a large amount of Human Empire holdouts who have immense industrial power, and though Proxima Centauri is secure the rest of Alpha Centauri is conested between the main Human Empire fleet, Anarchists, Libertarians and the People's Navy. The Communists are going to inevitably win though because they outproduce everyone else so hard and have a much greater industrial base, its just it takes a long time to fly spaceships between stars obviously. The Dyson swarm isn't really completed yet because the Empire put it on the backburner and were to inifficient in their capitalist mode of production to finish it.

Anyway the Imperial superfleet warps in and are like 'wow this looks like Holy Terra this is so cool'. The imperial characters are as such: The admiral is very smart and a good strategist who knows how to press his advantages, he is from the middle class on a hive city and he is not totally divorced from his soldiers, he is not against co-operation or anything and is not bloodthirsty, but he is an extreme zealot even for Imperial standards. His idealism ends up being his downfall. The space marine chapter master is a wanker and an idiot who is constantly sabotaging the smarter Imperials. There is the captain of a destroyer who is really a good person and is loved by his crew. Lastly there is a random guard woman who grounds them all. The fleet warps over to Earth. Everyone there is panicking because they think one of the Empire remenants has broken physics, but they soon realize that the Imperial fleet has nothing to do with the Human Empire. A diplomatic conference is set on the moon, which the Admiral and the Chapter Master attend. The people of our reality present five diplomats to the aliens: An ex-politician who has kept her body completely human looking, a clearly transhuman scientist who's given himelf cnidarian features, a veteran arthropoid (giant biological mech who are a mix between humans and arthropods) based on the Julius mind-model who fought for the Human Empire and is now an artist, an AI with a completely human body who was a house slave in the Human Empire, and an AI arthropoid veteran (a Synth, though that term had not been used for like 700 years) based on the Qoujaex mind-model. There is no real difference between AI and 'Gestalts' (humans or people based on human mind models, also giant super-minds, but the important thing is that they were considered conscious and AI non-conscious scientifically, but it literally does not matter anymore since the Human Empire fell), but they are both represented considering they want to show who the people of the Solar system are to these aliens. Though these are the faces, every being in the solar system is linked up and knows whats going on at the speed of light, and together they are making the diplomatic decisions every second.

The admiral comes in and seems amiable, but the Space Marines quickly fuck everything up and a firefight almost starts (one which they would lose very handidly). They retreat back to their fleet and war begins. They attempt to exterminatus Earth, but most people live in brain banks deep undeground. Armies billions strong land all over the planet to liberate the defiled soil of holy terra. These armies try to genocide as many people as possible for being Abominable Intelligence, mutants, atheist heretics etc., but everyone is given orders from the hive mind and knows exactly what to do so every building the imperials take is like fighting guerrilas but 1000x worse. The imperial guard are quickly decimated by biological weapons, and the rest are cleaned up by the literal trillions of veterans from the interstellar war that was recently being fought, all of which are transhuman to some extent and can survive being shot by anthing the Imperial Guard has to throw at them. There are 100 million space marines who land (I had to bump the number up since 1000 is way too low), they are an actual threat thanks to force fields and adamantium armour, but its important to note that like they are only as strong as like the average person from my universe who chooses to have a strong body is. A titan force is deployed and instantly their arses are handed to them by the arthropoids who dance from hill to hill shooting them, or if the void shields are too much these guys are built for melee combat and the titans and knights would stand literally no chance. However, the Imperials are slaughtered with long range munitions and drones most of the time and barely manage to kill a single person past the initial massacres. The ground invasion is pulled back and the fleet just returns to exterminatusing the planet, killing about 90% of the population, which is an untold amount of people killed, and turning the planet into a molten hellscape. This is where the imperials have an impossible advantage: Faster than Light travel. There is only a single warship in the inner Solar system which is on the opposite side of the sun, and the next closest warships are decades away. The Imperial fleet splits up and starts blowing up habitats, and there's basically nothing anyone can do about it. The admiral spares some people because he understands that there is no way he would ever conquer a solar system with a population as high as a significant portion of the empire without compromising at least a little, and luckily there is already a model of who is human and who is not based on the Human Empire system. However, he doesn't really understand that he is dealing with a networked intelligence, nor that they can only stick to light speed communications, so he sends a space marine / imperial knight detachment to Alpha Centauri where Grand Marshall Qoujaex is fighting, intending to take the head off of the snake. They arrive years before the People's Navy fleet in Alpha Centauri could have possibly heard of what was going on and deep strike thousands of space marines and imperial knights onto the Argama, which is an old black-hole drive pirate ship retrofitted with liquid armour and dust guns, the standard Communist equipment. They teleport in but unfortunately a bunch of the main characters from the book are there and I'm not having them die to random spoic morines. Anyway if this was a normal combat ship the imperials would have no chance since every vessel has a 'Phalanx' compliment of millions to billions of sentient drones, the Argama only has a few thousand however. Anyway Qoujaex and Irina 2 destroy the special assault knights deployed, which I have made up to be much more manouverable than normal knights, and they kill the Space Marine captain, who is replaced by his second in command who is a lot smarter. Lots of the imperials are trapped by the vessel in tight corridors which close around them and digest them. The rest of the detachment is ordered by the Admiral to get into contact with the Human Empire remenants. Though the old Space Morine captain would have seen them as too transhuman, the new captain gets along well with an arthropoid who was an imperial guard of the old Immortal Corporate Council which governed the empire, considering he isn't actually AI and has a completely human brain even if it is much bigger, and they team up which is really bad news.

Back in Sol it has only been days, and lots of far out settlements have not heard of the war even happening. Every time someone dies their mind gievs out a death message to the network so everyone is really furious and surrender is only debated rarely. The Admiral groups them up around Mars to exterminatus the planet after destroying the Ceres supercomplex (Ceres nationalism is famous btw) and several thousand habitats across the inner solar system. They've been started to get engaged with home-made missiles and black hole bombs built from spaceship drives, as well as quickly built suicide warships sent out by random habitats. Only a small group of Five battleships are sent to inspect the Dyson Swarm, which is where half of humanity lives. They are engaged by the one modern warship from around the star, which is having its orbit accelerated out to Mars by the swarm's lasers, others of which are decelerating the warships who were stationed at the Kuiper Belt. Already several more battleships of the same calibre are being built across the swarm. The battlegroup, led by the destroyer captain, moves to fight the warship. It shoots its dust guns at them in a massive cloud that the Imperials could not possibly evade. The Imperials themselves don't have guns which work with actual physics so they can't hit the communist warship at this range. High powered lasers start cooking some of their smaller ships, and if their shields go down for even a second they'd instantly die because they aren't built properly. A swarm of trillions of missiles is set to hit the detachment, so before that can happen they teleport all the way into visual distance of the communist battleship. This is a competent move from the destroyer captain, who has observed that these humans have very good weapons but that those weapons are constrained by laws of physics that he doesn't have to follow. He concludes that visual distance combat would never happen in their type of combat, and that their vessels would not be designed for it. The detachment teleports and instantly destroys the vessel with their big guns, though one of their ships is lost on the process due to reletavistic weapons and lasers. However, they didn't expect the vessel's Phalanx, who attack all the battleships at once even though their mothership is destroyed. The Phalanx are ready to die as human shields and so spill into the Imperial battleships with abandon, overpowering any defence with ease even considering a million space marines in every battleship.

The Admiral sees a big mirror turn to point at the fleet from an outer Mars langrange point. The void shield holds out from the laser for a couple of moments before his flagship is destoyed along with the rest of the fleet. In the Dyson Swarm humanity had repurposed a laser accelerator into a weapon and cooked the Imperial fleet with the power of a star, something which they couldn't possibly have seen coming since, you know, it was the speed of light, and their scout fleet was held up at the other side of the sun so they couldn't see it and warn the main fleet through FTL communication. The captain surrenders after seeing the fleet destroyed, sparing his crew rather than fighting to the last man. Humanity quickly starts researching the Imperial technology to understand wtf is going on, and the People's Navy focuses on dealing with the Imperials in cahoots with the remenants. Either way, this was by far the bloodiest week that human history would probably ever have, and showed how terrifying a foe with better technology could be. Surely, the Imperials will be back, but by then the technology gap would be smaller and they will be outproduced to such an extent that it would take 100 of their systems to reach the production of one Kardashev 2 Communist star system, and thats to say nothing of the command benefits of a networked intelligence. However, whilst we might be ready for the fascist pigs wherever they arise, the screams and wails of untold quantilions echo across the network even years after their bodies were obliterated. The scars will take centuries to heal. Luckily everyone is a materialist so demons literally can't exist because reddit atheists just say nuh uh and they dissolve.


Most sci-fi is science fantasy, if there aren’t quadrillion people living in the solar system alone then the scale is not realistic.


It’s pure nonsense, there are simply too many cooks in the kitchen and the profit incentive makes them do story decision that make the setting worse, by watering down the “political” stuff and removing the “edge”.



while 40k isnt "parody" like some retards insist (contains elements of parody maybe) it is inherently absurd and thats its appeal. its supposed to scratch the childlike part of your brain where everything is on an impossibly huge scale and all kinds of ridiculous boyhood scifi fantasy aesthetics are shoved together without caring much for consistency, and then you clean up and repaint enough parts of it to be at least aesthetically and thematically consistent in the broadest sense. what youre left with is something goofy and fun that has a very low bar of entry, you basically only need to understand the appeal of really big guys fighting scary aliens in big crazy set-pieces. the world-building only needs to be consistent enough to serve that premise under moderate scrutiny, and the unreliable narrator premise in so much of the books and lore is just further indication that headcanon is part of canon (since it is a world for a wargame where you make up your own factions and battles)


this af, 40k is just playing soldiers with autisticly complex lore and rules. the whole thing is really is inherently absurd but thats part of appeal


>this fantasy media isn't heccin realistic!!!!!!!!!


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>if something has scifi/fantasy elements you should just discard all logic or good writing


>I wanted realistic orcs and elves in outer space


>its supposed to scratch the childlike part of your brain where everything is on an impossibly huge scale and all kinds of ridiculous boyhood scifi fantasy aesthetics are shoved together without caring much for consistency
Hit the nail on the head. This style of worldbuilding was well articulated by Jordan Weisman of FASA.
>Whenever I create different universes—MechWarrior, Shadowrun, Crimson Skies—to me, it's all about looking at 'What are the fantasies that excited us when we were 5?' And if we can find a new and more sophisticated way to tap into that fantasy


This Mf doesn’t know what soft world building is ahahahahaha


No, I wanted consistent space elves and orcs. I love soft fantasy, but I still expect consistent worldbuilding in the lore to be consistent with the primary principles of the setting. You could come up with the most absurd lore in any book you want, and it would be great, but only if the setting’s fundamental principles remain consistent throughout the entire story. Otherwise you end up writing the utter garbage of constant retconning and rewrites that is capeshit.


>things nobody said


Yet the game is still fun. Curious.


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Can we all just take a moment to appreciate how awful this mech design is? Evangelion (1995) unironically had the best mechs just for how conventional they would be if mechs were ever real. But this one, oh it’s bad.
The joints on all of the limbs are exposed, which means any elder or tau smart enough to aim for them is going to have an easy fucking time taking down what is essentially a space marine’s corpse attached to a raging hunk of metal—its even worse that the metal’s coloration also make the machine’s weak spots crazy easy to see. Second, the proportions of the shape of this dumbass thing are awful, which means the mass of this huge fucking bio-mechanical machine by itself could have this thing topple over easily, and even worse, it’s unlikely that if a dreadnought could ever get itself back up If it ever fell. Lastly, this is by far one of the least versatile mechs I’ve seen in any science fiction setting. Just look at the arms. What was the point of having them there if the fucking thing acts like a tank? Why not just make a new tank design and not make mechs a part of the imperium—don’t people already love baneblades? I get that the artists obviously don’t give a shit about realism, but at least care for how the things drawn should function relative to their setting.


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the worldbuilding principles ARE consistent in theme and aesthetic, and those themes and aesthetics actively flout being grounded or sensible, i.e. for 40K is perfectly consistent in that it doesnt try to get you invested with plausibility and suspension of disbelief, instead it tries to keep you engaged by throwing over the top shit at you and not looking back, and theres something intuitively fun about the combination of preposterous space fantasy maximalism being given a very grim self-serious tone, while at the same time never seeming like its trying to justify its absurdity or apologize for itself. Again, it feels like being a little kid and making your transformers toys fight your dinosaur toys and having a great time because you dont know to be self conscious about it yet. The care thats put into lore is only an extension of this basic appeal, the way a child very earnestly comes up with a wacky reason for transformers to fight dinosaurs, not because it needs to be justified, but because the backstory is part of the fun the kid's having. There is plenty of great scifi you can read if you want worldbuilding dedicated to a degree of plausibility.


>There is plenty of great scifi you can read if you want worldbuilding dedicated to a degree of plausibility.

Unfortunately like 50% of strategy games released now are fucking Warhammer tieins.


What are you talking about, I dont think any Warhammer strategy game came out since Total War 3. Even further back Gladius if we restrict it to just 40k.


Non-wh40k autists are funny. Every tabletop head I've talked to is fully aware rule of cool and fun gameplay are above all else and in warhammers case most don't give a shit about Lore(tm), it's all just flavor.


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obviously 50% is an exaggeration but in 2021 we had 3(!!!) turn based tactics 40k games release from 3 different studios, ditto in 2020, and 2018, and so on. Imagine if all those studios could have worked on actually unique IPs and concepts that weren't just yet more fucking grimderp bullshit. As an XCOM-like enjoyer it drives me crazy.

> in warhammers case most don't give a shit about Lore(tm), it's all just flavor.

Yeah because the lore is fucking bad and stupid.


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Oh yeah and even if you like 40k, 90% of the games only let you play as Spess mehrens or (rarely) imperial guard, it's such identakit bullshit.


And most of the time it's the fuckin smurfs and gaydians


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The mobile-tier shovelware doesnt count, the only reason you can even find those is thanks to slapped on Warhammer IP, there never was any potential for good worldbuilding there.
When it comes to real games, we have Deamonhunters from 2022, Battlesector 2021, Battlefleet Gothic 2019, Gladius and Mechanicus in 2018, so yeah, I guess there is more than I initially thought.

Chaos is my favorite faction and out of dozens of Warhammer 40k games, you are allowed to play them in story campaign in Battlefleet Gothic 2 (DLC, its garbage), Gladius (DLC, its OK), and then Dawn of War II: Retribution and Dawn of War 1 expansions. Probably why I underestimate just how many Warhammer games are coming out, I have no interest in playing Imperials. Fantasy games are even worse in this, there is Total War, and then what, Mark of Chaos expansion pack from 2008? Although I just found Man O' War: Corsair where you can play Chaos captain, Im going to give it a try even though reviews seem less than stellar.


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>The mobile-tier shovelware doesnt count, the only reason you can even find those is thanks to slapped on Warhammer IP, there never was any potential for good worldbuilding there.

thank you for your brave stand in defence of AAA gaming


The only title of the ones I listed that can be considered anywhere near AAA is Total War.


Played Man O' War: Corsair. Its like not particularly polished Warband mod turned into standalone game. Cant recommend.


That's sad. It looked like a fun, but jank successor to sid meier's pirates. Skipped it on launch because of the price.


If Star Wars’ writers got anything right about war, then it would be vehicles. Star Wars’ vehicles have so many different types, forms, and functions with direct influences on lore. Because of this abundance in transport capabilities present in most factions, the worldbuilding of that franchise feels so much more complete and realistic in comparison to rouge trader. The authors of this franchise should spend more time away from the riflemen, mutants, aliens, and gods, and spend more time developing the tactics, machines, and weapons used that make rouge trader feel like a franchise really about mechanized warfare.


The big problem is there just doesnt seem to be much to do. Naval combat has little tactical depth, personal combat none, and thats the entire game, you sail around and you fight. Nothing to strive towards, no endgame akin to Warbands transition from mercenary captain to lord and king.


I played this as tabletop.
It was quite fun, a lot of laughs were had.

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